Who Gets David Price? It Depends on How The Rays Do

by Mike Shimazu | Posted on Friday, May 3rd, 2013
Facebook Twitter Plusone

David Price

The Tampa Bay Rays would love to hold on to David Price for a playoff run in 2013.  But the team’s financial picture and his high value make him a prime candidate to trade for a haul of younger, affordable prospects.  Whom the Rays eventually trade with will depend on whether they are winning enough by the trading deadline to want to keep Price, or doing poorly enough to deal him.

The team that eventually trades for Price would need the financial means to handle his escalating salary in arbitration and maybe offer the ace the extension he would deserve, but the key will be the prospect package that would make the Rays a willing partner.

The St. Louis Cardinals look like the team most likely to garner Price in a midseason trade.

With Chris Carpenter gone, St. Louis will be looking for a front line starter to join Adam Wainwright for a playoff push if they’re in the hunt.  The fact that Price would be under team control through 2016 would be an added bonus.

A package led by top prospect Oscar Taveras with a couple of promising arms from among Cardinal prospects and rookies would parallel the kind of trade the Rays got from Kansas City for James Shields this past offseason, with an upgrade in quality that would be due for the reigning Cy Young winner.

Once the 2013 season is over, though, this deal would be less likely to come together.  Wainwright’s extension and Shelby Miller’s apparent emergence help solidify the Cardinal rotation moving forward.  If their prospects perform in late season call-ups, the Cards will be less willing to deal, and the Rays may be less able to control the clock on their arbitration years.  Incentives would fade on both sides.

The offseason would leave the Rays looking to trade with teams whose top prospects are still in the minors.  At or near the top of the list would be the Minnesota Twins.  The Twins’ rotation is an acknowledged weakness, with no clear leader and little help coming up through the farm. Price – perhaps packaged with another arm from Tampa’s starting depth as Wade Davis was packaged with Shields – would be a great piece to build around.

To lure the Rays, Minnesota has a batch of promising young position players coming up.  Led by Miguel Sano, a 19 year old corner infielder credited with stunning power, and Byron Buxton, a toolsy teenage outfielder picked second in the 2012 First Year Player draft, the Twins have a pool rich in offense and right handed pitching that won’t be due to arrive in the majors until 2014 or later.  This could be difficult for the offensively challenged, yet budget-minded Rays to resist.

The Rays do well, and Price heads to Minnesota after leading Tampa in its 2013 playoff quest.  The Rays do not so well, and Price could find himself pitching St. Louis into the playoffs instead.


Facebook Twitter Plusone
Mike Shimazu
About the Author

A native of Hawaii where he grew up cheering on the Padres' affiliate, Mike now follows the American League Eastern Division along with practically every other major market journalist. Mike went to college in Boston and lives in Upstate New York, but he roots for the Rays. You can follow Mike on Twitter @mhswrite

  • Pingback: Miguel Sano()

  • Luke

    Not to nitpick too much but the twins aren’t quite as weak in pitching in the minors as you imply. After trades this past offseason they now have 2 top 100 prospects that are pitchers (Gibson and Meyer) and a couple others who fall just outside (May, Berrios). Otherwise nice little article.

    • Mike Shimazu

      You’re certainly right about the strength of the Twins’ right-handed pitching prospects, and I didn’t mean to imply that their farm system was weak in pitching, just that I felt their prospects were a couple of years from the show. In fact, the Rays would demand pitching prospects in a deal for Price, just as they did with Shields.

      But it’s no lock that Meyer, May or Berrios will be quite ready by 2014, and maybe not 2015. Pelfrey’s gone after this season, and Correia after next. Adding Price and another Rays starter would lay the groundwork for an excellent rotation for the next three years.

      Thanks for your thoughts.

  • Nick

    The Twins would never give Price the kind of long term contract that would be required. Terry Ryan is perhaps the most skittish GM in the league when it comes to dealing for pitchers and signing them as free agents.

  • Bailey

    As a cardinals fan, I really don’t see them giving up taveras. Beltrans contract is up after this year, and we could just let him walk. I could see them giving up Adams, Tyrell Jenkins, Carson Kelley, and another prospect to get price.

    • Mike Shimazu

      Well, it’s hard to disagree with that; Taveras is as hot a prospect as I’ve seen, with the comparisons to V. Guerrero and all. And I really do think that without the possibility of a championship run, the Cards wouldn’t be terribly motivated to move Taveras even for Price.

      That said, having gotten Myers for Shields, I would guess that the Rays would aim higher in a trade for Price.

      Would St. Louis be motivated by a possible 4-man playoff rotation featuring Price and Wainwright both? Sure sounds sweet. But whether it would be worth trading someone who could be a franchise player from 2015 forward is a tough call, one that could definitely go the way you say.

if ( function_exists( 'pgntn_display_pagination' ) ) pgntn_display_pagination( 'multipage' );